As I mentioned, I’m reading two books about the low-FODMAP diet, and the one that has resonated with me the most is IBS: Free at Last! The author has a very practical way of talking about IBS and the diet and seems to understand how overwhelming it all is. The book is formatted mostly in a Q&A style and she also offers an alternative plan to an elimination diet, which appealed to me as I was already leaning that way. More on that in a bit.
The first thing I did when my doctor diagnosed me with IBS was cut out lactose, thinking that my recent increase in consumption was the culprit. Honestly, I was hoping that was as far as I would need to go but unfortunately it didn’t help. I’m still having the same symptoms.
I read everything I could online about the low-FODMAP diet but so many of the foods on the elimination phase are integrated into my daily routine. And I’m not even talking about simple things like bread or pasta, which I already eat minimal amounts of. It’s things like broccoli, beets, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, garlic, I mean these are foods I worked hard getting INTO my diet. How is it now they are things I need to avoid?
I really couldn’t wrap my head around it.
Then I hit the “Alternative Approach” chapter of the book and there was a little worksheet to help see which group of foods (lactose, fructose, fructans, polyols, or galactans) are the most prominent in your diet. Once you identify which one is you simply avoid that group to see if your symptoms improve. Since my issues are annoying but not really affecting everyday life I decided this is the way I’m going to continue. Especially after filling out the worksheet and realizing my current diet is almost entirely made up of fructans! Things like:
- Brussels sprouts
I mean, I don’t think I eat a meal that doesn’t have at least one of those things in it! Have you seen GreenLiteBites? lol
The other book I have, The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet, has a more comprehensive list of foods that contain fructans. The following are listed as having a high or moderate amount of fructans:
According to the author of that second book:
No one is able to digest fructans, and if you have IBS you should minimize your intake of them. Fructans are probably the most common FODMAP to cause symptoms of IBS…
I find it ironic that all the vegetables I worked so hard to incorporate into my daily life may be the reason behind my tummy issues. My doctor was very adamant in saying that my particular symptoms aren’t “normal” but they aren’t dangerous either. He said, figure out what your triggers are and then you can decide if the symptoms are worth the foods that are causing them.
So starting today I’m attempting to eliminate fructans from my diet (or at least severely reduce) to see if there’s a change. If there is then I know I just need to watch serving sizes of some of my favorite healthy foods because honestly, I can’t see giving up broccoli, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, or asparagus!
If there is no change, well, then I may have to dive head first into the elimination diet.
Again, I welcome your experiences. This is all very fascinating to me!